Curator’s Corner – On This Day – June 16, 1857 – Battle of the Badges : A law was passed in 1857 to switch control of the police department from the City to the State government. A new force, called the Metropolitan Police was formed by the state and started patrolling New York. The one problem was that the old force, the Municipal Police, refused to disband. So for a while, there were two separate police departments patrolling New York. The two departments spent much time fighting each other for everything from stationhouses to prisoners. The fighting led to what was known as The Police Riot. When the state force tried to arrest NY Mayor Fernando Wood at City Hall, the two forces would up in a bloody donnybrook on the steps of City Hall. It just so happened that the Seventh Regiment was marching by to get on a ship, and the state forced appealed to them for help. The Municipals couldn’t fight the Army, so they allowed the Mayor to be arrested. The Municipal force was soon disbanded. The department was now run by the state, but there is more to the story………. For more on this subject, check out this Secrets of New York video:
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